Prince Charles is to attend the 65th D-Day anniversary celebrations in Normandy at the weekend after a last-minute Royal invitation from Paris.
The announcement follows outrage in the British tabloid press which claimed the Queen was “furious” at not having been invited. Prime Minister Gordon Brown will represent the British government at the commemorations on June 6. Some UK newspapers claimed France had failed to invite the Queen. But French officials responded by insisting Her Majesty was welcome. Even the Americans were keen to smooth troubled waters by angling for a Royal invitation. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: “We’re working closely with those involved to see if we can make that happen, obviously.” Then he joked with reporters, “Lester, can you deliver that directly to the Queen?” The French government blamed the British for deciding who should attend what it said was primarily a Franco-American ceremony. The Normandy landings saw thousands of Allied troops – the majority of them American and British – pour onto the beaches of occupied France and marked a strategic turning point in the war against Nazi Germany.